Maki Mouse

August 29, 2010

This is one of my favorite cartoons:

Artist: Hilary Price


After fermenting overnight you can check your natto. You are looking for the beans to be stringy, gooey and a little stinky. This what some people love about natto and some people dislike about natto. Read BellaOnline for a story about hating natto then finding out you like it. However, I don’t think you are making natto if you don’t already love it and want your own personal supply in your freezer at all times, am I right?

Let your natto continue to ferment if you don’t think it is quite stringy enough. Some recipes call for 24 hour fermenting. That makes a very strong natto and is not the kind that I like.

When you think your natto is done, put it in the refrigerator overnight, then the next day, enjoy! Put most of the natto into containers and freeze. Take out and defrost when you want it.

Enjoy good health with natto. Even Dr. Mercola is enamored with natto. He has a downloadable report on the health benefits including:

  • How nattokinase (a type of good bacteria found in natto) works better than Aspirin at preventing a heart attack
  • Helps prevents fractures and sustains bone mineral density in women with osteoporosis
  • Keeps your gut running smoothly, keeping your tummy efficient and calm
  • Is a cheaper alternative to cholesterol lowering drugs like Lipitor

Next time: how to eat natto!

Do not let the pot boil over! You’ll regret it.

After soaking 2 pounds of soybeans, drain, then add fresh water and cook until soft. This could be up to 5 or 6 hours, simmering. As the soybeans come to a boil, stand by to skim off the foam and skins of the beans that float up. Careful about boiling over. Soybeans like to do that. The smell of burned soybeans is not pleasant.

When the beans are cooked, drain, let cool a bit. Meanwhile sterilize a stainless steel spoon (boil for 5 minutes). Then pour beans back into the cooking pot and add the Natto starter. From the photo above you will see that this particular starter from MITOKU is a white powder and comes with a tiny tiny measuring spoon. Seriously, you do not need much to get your natto started.

Mix one tiny spoonful of powder with 2 teaspoons of water, pour over soybeans an mix thoroughly with sterilized spoon.

Then, transfer the inoculated beans to 2 shallow pans for fermentation. You want the beans to be less than 2 inches deep, so use as many pans as you need. One method I have used is to put a layer of plastic wrap over the beans- pressing the plastic onto the beans so everything is sealed in. OF course, I worry about the plastic ingredients transferring into the beans, so another method I use it so just seal the top very well. I have a container that has a glass lid and another that has a plastic lid that doesn’t come in contact with the beans. Your choice.

Method #1

Methods # 2 and #3

THEN, place covered beans in the oven set at 100 degrees F for at least 12 hours.

See you in 12 hours!

Making Natto #1

August 20, 2010

Wash 2 pounds organic soybeans

Soak overnight

Stay tuned for Natto #2, tomorrow!

Can Less Be More

August 17, 2010

Do we need all our stuff? How much stuff do we really need to live? What does one really need? Just received the link to interesting site via Josh. Kelly Sutton’s site where he has listed all of his possessions and is selling everything off except what he can fit into 2 boxes….

He says on his blog:

Inspired by a a book or two, I’ve decided to try to see if I can rid my life of most of the clutter. The goal? Condense my life into 2 bags and 2 boxes.

How will I do this? It seems simple to just say: get rid of everything. To realize how much junk I own, I have put myself through the misery of documenting every single possession of mind, no matter how insignificant. This gives me a solid metric to measure my progress against. I will be explaining the finer details of this in future posts.

The 2 bags and 2 boxes principle will hopefully allow me to live anywhere and move instantly. This is the Cult of Less.

“On the whole, it’s led me to cherish my few purchases more. Every possession also requires a certain amount of upkeep, and I find myself with more time and less possessional guilt. Every thing owned begs to be used constantly; every second not utilized comes a shred of buyer’s remorse. Everything I own I use at least once per month, save for my winter clothes.”

I say, all well and good if yu are young and it is feasible to live that way. Everyone in the US particularly accumulates lots of stuff. I feel burdened by the house and the contents that have attached themselves over the past 25 years. But as someone replied:

“This is a completely crap and meaningless “trend”. There’s no real sacrifice involved whatsoever, and the people involved seem to enjoy the illusion of asceticism without the actual hard work involved. If you’re happy only owning five pairs of underwear or whatever, more power to you… but to blog about it as some great emerging movement or philosophy is a waste.”

I could do without the potted plants, but they do give me oxygen and bring life into my home. I could without the art on the walls, but most of the art in my house was created by people I know and it enriches and inspires me to have it around me. Do I need 2 pianos? No, anyone want to buy one? It’s not easy to sell a piano. I also don’t need more than 1 cutting knife but I have 4 or 5. I don’t know that I will go minimalist, but I certainly could as Josh recently suggested: hire someone to help me, put up a tent in the backyard and bring it all out into the daylight and then make some choices……Perhaps it would be comforting to have a list of everything I own in one place?

Shooting Star

August 13, 2010

03 Shooting Star song by Joan Spear

It’s that time of year for the Perseids meteor shower which occurs when the earth passes through the  by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every 133 years the huge comet swings through the inner solar system and leaves behind a trail of dust and gravel. The debris, specks of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate in flashes of light. These meteors are called Perseids because they fly out of the constellation Perseus.  Late night watching is best, don’t try to focus, just let your eyes be relaxed and take in the western sky!